This is still, for me, the team that Conn Smythe built. And when the Maple Leafs unveiled their “Top 100” of all-time list on Friday, his was one of the names that came to mind immediately.
The announcement was part of the now ongoing Centennial season celebrations. Three new names (Dave Keon at right, Tim Horton and Turk Broda) were formally added to Legends Row this past week. And the Top 100 announcement nicely tees up the team’s home opener tonight against the Boston Bruins, another Original Six franchise.
I was asked to do a piece on the new 100 list for my colleagues over at the Maple Leaf Host Stove site, so rather than run through all the same reflections here, I’ll just share the link to that post here.
I will only add that the current Leaf squad seems to have a few youngsters who may just push their way on to this “list” in the years ahead—Auston Matthews being just one example of a brighter Leaf future that seemingly lies ahead. But there are other kids (Nylander, Rielly, etc.) all looking to make their mark too. Maybe they will earn this kind of recognition down the road. But it takes time to leave the kind of long lasting impression that those named yesterday did throughout their NHL and Maple Leaf careers.
Fortunately, we have a coach now who will likely drive team success, with notable individual achievements sure to follow. But for now, it’s fun to discuss and debate the list as it stands. If you have any thoughts about who should be or is on the list, by all means share them here or over at MLHS.
I haven’t posted in a while here at VLM, but I’ll aim to more regularly as the new season unfolds.